Dabbling in vegan cooking

After yesterday’s cake and decadence, I fully expected to wake up this morning and be at least a pound heavier. I was utterly floored when I hopped on the scale to see a weight loss (and a pretty decent one at that)! I guess this goes to prove the importance of having a cheat day to kind of shock your body and give it a cheap thrill once a week. I have a feeling the weight loss is going out the window tomorrow, though, because even though I was busy making vegan and not vegan healthy treats today, I wasn’t cleaning the house for several hours to make up for the bites of cake and sampling of my spoils today…oopsies!

Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day proper today, I wanted to have a treat but keep it healthy (yesterday again, cough cough). The other night, in a beer-filled haze, I demanded to be taken to McDonalds for a Shamrock Shake. I’ve never had one before, but I love mint and it seemed like the perfect midnight snack for a cheat day that had gone off the rails. Unfortunately, our McDonalds was closed, so I was left disappointed, but ultimately it proved a very good thing, as a quick google search revealed a medium to be about 2/3 of my daily caloric allowance.

This wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but at midnight with my friend in the car, it seemed like a great idea. I guess the diet gods were there looking out for me. Today, I made a vegan Shamrock Shake, courtesy of Edible Mosaic, recipe here. I dragged Dan to two stores to find the light coconut milk because our local grocery store only had the full-fat stuff, and it really does make a huge difference calorie-wise to get the light! I had half a frozen banana and about 1 1/2 just-about-gone bananas, so I chucked those in with some frozen bagged spinach (which I’ve never bought or used before today, but which seemed so convenient for smoothies). I’m glad the recipe only called for 1/8 tsp. mint extract (all I could find was peppermint, hopefully that’s the same thing), because it was more than plenty!

The result was a thick, creamy smoothie that tasted like minty coconut and not like spinach!

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I also decided to get those raw energy bars from The Kitchn made since I’ve had the ingredients for over a week now but haven’t had time! I busted out my tiny “food processor,” which is technically more like a chopper, and tossed in my freshly roasted and cooled cashews, my dried apricots, and dried pitted dates. The mixture was a little too much for poor mini processor, and I think I left the pieces of everything a little too big (there was beginning to be a smell from the blade struggling). The bars didn’t really form together, even after half a day of refrigeration, so I made them into 15 little energy balls, instead. Dan enjoyed the one I gave him, and I think they’re a good little healthy snack for his workday!

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Lastly, for dinner, I consulted my “Cooking Light” magazine, which conveniently showed up yesterday touting 40 meals under 40 minutes. Uh, yes please! I narrowed the selections down to a stout pasta made with Guinness (how perfect would that be today?!) and a Chicken Tikka Pizza, and let Dan choose. He picked the latter, so off I went to try and find ways to further lighten it (almost 400 calories doesn’t seem too light for one pita pizza). The recipe made four servings, one pita pizza each, so I figured Dan could eat leftovers tomorrow. I cut the chicken down by about 1/4, the oil down by 1/3, and the cheese by about 1/3. It was spicy and kind of amazing in its similarity to Indian chicken tikka.

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Tomorrow it’s back to the grind and importantly back to the gym to continue zone training (sans borrowed heart rate strap, which I’ll need to wash before returning, better get started on that), and preparation for race day! We are also expecting ANOTHER snowstorm overnight Monday into Tuesday, which I am pretty irate about. I know this is New England, but it is going to be APRIL shortly, and this seems excessive. I just want my sidewalks and my hiking trails back, is that too much to ask?!

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